Housing Advice, Landlords, Student Life

Tips for Improving Landlord-Tenant Relationships

The landlord-tenant relationship is often one of the most strained.  For landlords, according to one of our previous posts, our expert, Diane St. Laurent, explained that this incompatibility often extends from the expectations and rules of the rental.  For tenants (especially student tenants), this incompatibility may extend from poor communication and misunderstandings with landlords.  This is why we’ve put together some tips to help both landlords and student tenants improve the renting process and improve this typically strained relationship.

For Landlords

Take a mentor role with your student tenants.  According to St. Laurent, one of the most important things landlords can do is to take on a mentor role with students by “treating them as adults and [holding] them accountable for their decisions.”  She explains that this is one of responsibilities landlords assume with renting to students, as this is the time that they will be assimilating to their independence and adjusting to all new responsibilities.  By helping students through this process, it will not only help the landlord to feel that their tenants are making good decisions, but student tenants will feel more comfortable in maintaining their responsibilities.

Keep open and honest communication with tenants.  According to St. Laurent, landlords are also accountable for building lines of communication with their tenants.  In this way, student tenants will feel like their ideas, questions, and concerns are being heard, and landlords will feel that problems are more easily and swiftly resolved.

Be professional.  According to St. Laurent, rentals should be managed like a business.  This means that landlords should feel a sense of a responsibility of responding to problems and concerns of tenants to not only to keep tenants happy, but also to ensure that the property is well taken care of.

For Student Tenants

Pay your rent on time.  One of the biggest problems landlords and tenants can have is late rent payments.  This is not only a problem that will most likely create others, but it can also further exacerbate any existing issues within the relationship.  Therefore, it is important for tenants to budget for and send their rent payments so that they arrive on time.

Follow the terms of your lease.  As St. Laurent mentioned, one of the greatest problems can be incompatibility with landlords and tenants over the expectations and rules for the house.  It is best to read your lease in full before signing, and address any concerns you may have with the terms at that time.  Going forward, you should also keep a copy of your lease handy so that you can refer to it later, if needed.  This will not only enhance the clarity of your lease, but it may also allow you to negotiate the terms of your lease.

Take care of your rental.  This is not only your home, but it is also someone else’s property.  Be sure to take good care of the property and to be mindful of the “wear and tear” that you inflict on a property.  This will not only keep the property nice for you, but it will also help you keep your landlord happy and ensure that you get your entire damage deposit back.

Get to know your neighbors.  Surprisingly enough, grouchy neighbors can be one of the biggest sore points between you and your landlord.  This is because your neighbors will often report your “bad behavior” to your landlord.  As we mentioned in our previous post on this topic, it is important to get to know your neighbors to avoid unnecessary conflicts and frustration with both them and your landlord.  

Keep open and honest communication with your landlord.  We advise this for both landlords and tenants.  It is important that tenants let their landlords know when they have problems, when they need repairs, and especially when there has been damage to the property.  While telling your landlord you’ve damaged something on the property may be difficult, it will be better to tell them right away.  This will help to ensure that you maintain trust and honesty with your landlord.

However, you should also be mindful to be reasonable in your requests when you need something done.  Avoid calling your landlord over when a light bulb needs to be changed.  The things that you can do yourself are most likely the things you shouldn’t bother your landlord for.  It’s the things you can’t do and don’t feel comfortable doing; these are the things you should be contacting your landlord for.

Overall, while landlord-tenant relationships are often strained, there are certainly things that both parties can do to improve their relationship.  All it really takes is honesty, professionalism, open communication, and a sense of responsibility to ensure that the rental process goes smoothly.


How to Be a Good Landlord – 7 Tips, Advice & Responsibilities by Angela Colley

5 Tips for Being a Great Tenant that Landlords Love by Angela Colley

10 tips for a healthy landlord-tenant relationship; Perspective: Renters must read the lease, know landlord’s expectations by Ben Holubecki

A Guide to Good Landlord-Tenant Relations by DoItYourself.com

Housing Advice, Landlords, Renting

Why Landlords Should Encourage Renters to Get Renters’ Insurance

For some landlords, it is purely the decision of the tenant on whether to get renters’ insurance or not; for renters, renters’ insurance often seems like an “unneeded expense.” However, by renters not having renters’ insurance coverage, it cannot only hurt them, but it can also hurt their landlords. This is why it is important for landlords to not only educate their tenants on the benefits of renters’ insurance, but to encourage them to get this type of coverage.

First, by ensuring tenants have renters’ insurance, landlords can prevent any unwanted insurance claims being made against them. In fact, according to survey by Joshua Tree Consulting, rental property owners deal with about eight insurance claims like this a year. By helping to educate and encourage their tenants to get renters’ insurance, it can limit the number of these claims and the associated legal expenses that may come with it.

For landlords, renters’ insurance can also help cover their deductible in cases in which their tenant is responsible for damage to the property. In fact, according to a white paper published by Joshua Tree Consulting, landlords pay an average of over $2,400 per property for tenant-caused damage, as compared to just over $1,300 in properties where landlords required tenants to carry renters’ insurance. In this way, landlords can save money by encouraging tenants to get renters’ insurance.

While there are several financial benefits to encouraging renters’ insurance, responsible landlords can also value the importance of having this type of coverage. Incidences like fire and theft are not so “farfetched” in that they are impossible. By encouraging tenants to get renters’ insurance, landlords can help ease the minds of their tenants, so that should these incidences occur, they know they will be covered..

Renters’ insurance for both tenants and landlords is smart choice when renting, as it can save both parties money and stress in the case of fire, theft, or injury on a property. Landlords should remind tenants of the implications that incidences have, and the damage and loss they can inflict. It is important to stress foresight and caution when renting, as accidents can happen. For while renters’ insurance may seem like an unneeded expense now, it is something that will help both landlords and renters get through the times in which the improbable becomes probable.


“Renters’ Insurance Protects Landlords as Well as Tenants” by Jeffrey Turk